Pennsylvania ready to open casinos, but poker won’t be included

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Posted on: May 28, 2020 6:16 pm EDT

Poker remains at the bottom of the list of gaming priorities as casinos recover from COVID-19

After more than two months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, the pressure to reopen businesses and financial activities is starting to build up. Many states have started the first phase of reopening, while other states like Pennsylvania have just presented proposed measures and guidelines for operators in the gambling industry to follow. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has laid out these rules so operators can start preparing to reopen their doors to the public. However, poker, just like in other states, won’t be included.

The measures take into consideration both the customers’ and casino employees’ safety. With most entertainment activities still on hold, this news brings excitement to the residents of the Keystone State. However, poker fans can’t get excited. “Poker rooms are not authorized to operate due to players handling cards and chips. Poker room operations will be re-examined based upon changing CDC and PA DOH [Department of Health] guidance,” said the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in a statement.

For now, gamblers who visit land-based casinos will need to play either slots or dice games. The proposed guidelines, of course, have created mixed reactions, and certainly, poker lovers are not happy with this situation. Due to the nature of poker and how players interact on a table, it is understandable the decision to postpone live poker activities in casinos for future phases. At least poker players from Pennsylvania can play legal online poker, which has been booming since the pandemic started.